NCP: G4S in violation of human rights

PNN/Bethlehem

Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) released a statement Thursday night stating that global prisons company G4S has been found to be in violation of human rights obligations as specified by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The indictment of G4S is in regards to its Israeli contracts and was presented yesterday evening by UK National Contact Point (NCP), part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills). The finding comes after the G4S annual meeting was dominated by pro-Palestine activists demanding an end to G4S’s contracts with the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF), police and prison service.

Chair of PSC Hugh Lanning said: “Last week I, along with other campaigners and shareholders, attended the G4S AGM and listened to the claims of its Chief Executive that G4S was complying with human rights guidelines.

“Today those claims have been blown out of the water with this landmark ruling.”

The ruling from NCP was in response to a complaint submitted by UK legal charity, Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights, and is the culmination of a year-long investigation.

NCP found that G4S has not complied with OECD guidelines to “respect the internationally recognised human rights of those affected by their activities” in Israel and Palestine. It also ruled that G4S was failing to fulfill its obligations by not minimalising “adverse human rights impacts” linked to their business operations in Israel and Palestine.

As part of its contracts with the Israel Prison Service, G4S installs and maintains security systems in prisons within Israel and the West Bank. Palestinians, including children, are detained in these prisons, often without charge or trial, and many are tortured.

G4S also services baggage scanning equipment and metal detectors in checkpoints throughout the Palestinian West Bank, some of which are also used in the apartheid wall, severely restricting Palestinian freedom of movement.

Lanning stressed NCP’s recommendation to G4S to comply with its human rights obligations, saying, however, that: “G4S’ complicity with the human rights violations being carried out by the Israeli state against the Palestinian people will not end until it finally terminates its Israeli contracts.

“All companies should take note of today’s ruling and be aware of the toxicity of entering into contracts with an Israeli state that refuses to abide by international law and which systematically violates Palestinian human rights.”